The COVID-19 pandemic has pervaded nearly every walk of life, and boating has been no different. Marinas, normally bustling centres of aquatic activity, closed their doors and suspended activities during the spring season. Fast forward several months and note that, while life everywhere has begun to reopen, important safety protocols are still at the top of each business platform. We at Power Boating Canada Magazine – and our US publication, Poker Runs America – witnessed such measures firsthand at our Poker Run event last weekend.

Poker Run teams arrive at Village Quay Marina.

On Saturday, August 29, we hosted the Gananoque Poker Run across the 1000 Islands. These events usually boast impressive crowds – over a hundred participating crafts and nearly 35,000 spectators from Kingston to Prescott – but not this year. Our goal was simple: reduce event numbers and follow important guidelines while still keeping people on the water.

Fortunately, each stop maintained its duties. Joel Stone Park’s Municipal Marina, as the headquarters of our Poker Run, played a central figure in keeping safe protocol. Managing boaters, tourists, and thirty-foot power craft is a tall order even in the smoothest of waters; our hats go off to all marinas keeping people safe and boating during these times. Ivy Lea’s Village Quay Marina, Wolfe Island’s historic General Wolfe Inn, and docks at both Brockville and Rockport also served as destinations during the Poker Run. Power Boating Canada and Poker Runs America would like to thank the host town of Gananoque, the 1000 Islands Chamber of Commerce, Thousand Islands Accommodation Partners, Ontario Provincial Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Gananoque Police, Leeds and 1000 Islands Fire Service, and the many volunteers who made last weekend possible. To view or purchase from our photo gallery, head to our photo gallery.